Update 4/6/20 - Added in an extra 2TB NVME drive from Microcenter as I needed scratch space. My 7+ year old Seasonic x-1250w kicked the bucket - I was getting random shutdowns at full load running Folding@Home. Replaced with a significantly more expensive Corsair AX1600i and everything is back and running again. This power supply may be expensive but at 1kw load draw it's a whopping 95% efficient as per iCue - that's just nuts.
Update 2/3/20 - Just upgraded the 1950x to a 3970x for double the cores, new motherboard due to chipset change, and double memory to 128GB. As a plus the new chipset seems to support the memory better at stock timings. The AIO seems to be performing poorly now with the 3970x but it's also an extra 100w and the case in general is getting quite hot even with all the fans. Updating with new pictures and benchmarks this week.
Update 11/8/18 - Recently updated with an Asus ROG PG27UQ 4k 144hz primary panel. Built a new butcher block workstation. I'll be updating with new photos in the next few days of the full rig and battlestation.
This is my primary workstation machine at home for network lab virtualization, VR gaming, 4k Nvidia Surround, and 1440p 165hz. Pending 4k 144hz monitor.
Note: This is not a complete battlestation. My DIY desk won't be complete until November so I'll update photos then. Right now it's a rig on a cart to use on a 4K TV temporarily.
To start - here's my benchmarks which is currently 26th in the Hall of fame for 2 GPU systems and and 64 for all builds in Time Spy Extreme.
Why did I pick these parts?
CPU - Threadripper 1950x was a bargain price of $600 after the second gen parts were announced. It takes a pretty solid 4.1ghz overclock using an Enermax Liqtech TR II 280mm and 4 HD140 fans in push/pull. Temps under full load are in the 70's, but temps under normal gaming only hit around 50C. This CPU with an overclock is a nice compromise part with 16C/32T for VMWare and high single thread OC performance for gaming. It was a VM first purchase but strong enough to game on.
RAM - I didn't bother with the Samsung B-Die parts - they were exorbitant for the same 64GB. These two DDR4 dual channel kits actually worked just fine on my quad channel board. There were some issues posting at 3200mhz until I added sticks one at a time - put in one stick, set XMP, shutdown, add stick, turn on, repeat for all 4. They've been stable at rated speeds since
Motherboard - 2nd gen x399 board that launched with the 2990wx. It's overkill for this gen1 part, but it has better VRM to support overclocking of the processor. Power requirements for overclocked TR are insane and this board should be able to handle it. This board has some minor layout issues - the RAM slots are close to the top of the board so they ended up getting in the way of my rad + 140mm fan when top mounted. A slim fan would fit, but would break the aesthetic. The E-ATX form factor while technically supported in my case does partially cover the cable management slots. I've added a TPM chip to the board to support bitlocker drive encryption.
Storage - There's a lot of it. High speed NVME 500GB as a boot drive and for the few things that need the speed, not many games though. 2TB Micron SSD for fast scratch space and load time sensitive games. 2x 8TB shucked WD Reds from Easystore enclosures for Steam libraries and VM storage. There's an odd man out 250GB Samsung 840 that was a pull from the build this replaces. No sense throwing it out while I've got space for it. I've still got slots left for more if I need them while my SSD and HDD space is full up.
Graphics - These 2080Ti FE's replace a previous 1080Ti SLI build. I used to skip a generation or two for updates, but VR and 4k surround/4k 120hz+ are driving GPU need a lot more than anything I've had before. I've got modest overclocks on these cards (+170 core and +700 mem) with 123% power target and 88C temp target. They might go a little bit higher but this was the most stable setting so far. The cards were very expensive in the realm of Titans in the past but a solid bump in performance over the ones they replaced. With the overclock these cards are not quiet - fan noise is noticeable above the rest of the system. Without the OC they are almost silent.
Case - I went with a white/black "ice" theme as much as possible and I love the clean look of the R6. Over the years I've had full acrylic clear cases, acrylic side windows, and some other monstrosities. This has to be the cleanest case of them all. The USB C front panel is a nice bonus. Removing the drive bays in the front provides for great airflow and honestly, the 2 SSD and 2 HDD mounts in the rear are more than enough based on the storage I crammed in.
Sound - This is a big category. Not only do I have my trusty soundcard I've been pulling through the last three rigs, I've got a desktop Schiit Jotunheim Amp + DAC, Little Dot MK3 tube amp and Sennheiser HD800'sfor music listening with headphones. The Jotunheim also has balanced ports in the rear that let me feed through the Monoprice Sub into the JBL studio monitors for non-headphone sound. For gaming I swap out to the Corsair Void headset (wireless) or an ATH-ADG1X set if I can deal with wires and want better headset sound quality.
PSU - This was actually just a pull from my old 2012 3930k machine. Seasonic makes some amazing PSUs. It's been rock solid. It does use the 3.3v pin for HDDs which is legacy and needed the "tape fix" for the 8TB reds but otherwise it's flawless and chugs along without any issues. I've used Seasonic in both my server builds since and plan to stick with them going forward.
Monitors and desk - I run a hex monitor build with 3x 4k panels in the top row (for now) and 3x 1440p with a 165hz main monitor. When I pick up the new 4k 144hz Asus panel next month the rows will flip and I'll go back to 4k primary panels. The 144hz 1440p has been nice but since it came after the 4k panels I've had a hard time dealing with the screen res drop for everything that isn't gaming. The more expensive LG 4K monitor has been disappointing - the screen has always had a grainy look that isn't duplicated in the cheaper 4k panels that flank them. The 1440p 60hz panels are surviving Yamakasi Korean panels using cheap efanco DVI to displayport adapters that, surprisingly, worked OK without costing 100+ like other active adapters. Would highly recommend them to anyone else using the now vintage korean 1440p panels. The hex monitor stand has been glorious as it frees up a ton of desk space. It is however extremely heavy. Fully loaded with monitors it's easily 120lbs or more. I had to reinforce my previous tempered glass desk with a wood shelf on top to make sure it didn't snap. My new desk (still in process) uses 3" wide welded tub steel legs on either side, 3" tube steel posts at two midpoints on the rear, and a 6'x3'x1.5" slab of carbonized oak butcherblock as the top surface.
Keyboard/Mouse - These are fluid. I have about a dozen mech keyboards that I swap in and out. Right now I'm playing around with this Logitech Pro as my newest acquisition. Other than this one The K-Type, Whitefox, and Hall Effect boards are the other main ones. I generally like clicky tactile keys, but these boards specifically have been somewhat unique test boards. Speed gold, zeal 65g, and hall effect magnetic switches respectively. The mouse on the other hand tends to stay for a few years. This G903 replaces an MX Master as a nice compromise for gaming and work. I have a Logitech Pro wireless mouse that while a nice gaming mouse just didn't work out for everyday use. Powering the mouse is a powerplay mousepad that lets me charge without a cord. Expensive, but neat.
Virtual Reality - As an early adapter, this is what drove my push into this monster rig to begin with. I have a Vive + TPCast, Vive Pro + wireless adapter, Samsung Odyssey, and Pimax 8k/5k+ (on order). This gear is all packed into a pelican case and taken from place to place to run demos with my laptop and SFFPC. For home use this desktop is on a cart that lets me wheel it from my small den to the huge living room for glorious VR space.
Misc peripherals - HOTAS and pedals are for Elite Dangerous and American Truck Sim, respectively. The G27 is by far the best racing wheel set Logitech has ever made and sold at a reasonable price. Unfortunately it's gone now, so I'll hold it forever. The Hotas on the other hand is meh. The grease that lubes up the throttle seems to be very heavy until you work the throttle back and forth whereupon it loosens up. If I had to do it again I'd likely go for another brand on this one. Should have known madcatz would be disappointing.